Zenith and Revolution Team Up For a Modern Interpretation of the Iconic “Cover Girl”

For their latest limited edition collaboration, watch publication Revolution has partnered with Zenith on a revival of one of the Swiss brand’s most collectible chronographs, the El Primero Ref. A3818. Known to collectors as the “Cover Girl,” this isn’t any ordinary El Primero. Nicknamed for its appearance on the cover of Manfred Rössler’s authoritative book on all things vintage Zenith, Zenith: Swiss Watch Manufacture Since 1865, the Cover Girl is defined by its angular case (the same tonneau shaped case used in the equally iconic A384), dynamic blue dial, and completely unique ladder bracelet. The new limited edition version has been updated with some modern features, but retains a great deal of the original’s charm. Let’s get into it.

Zenith x Revolution Chronomaster Revival Ref. A3818 “Cover Girl” 

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Blue
  • Dimensions: 337mm  
  • Crystal: Sapphire     
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull            
  • Movement: El Primero calibre 400 
  • Strap/bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet  
  • Price: $8,100
  • Reference Number: n/a
  • Expected Release: Available now 


The Cover Girl, both the original vintage version and this new edition, is a watch that’s all about the little details coming together to create something that’s coherent from a design perspective but also uniquely bold and visually interesting. The El Primero, even it’s most traditional form (with its multicolored subdials) is a watch that Zenith has never been afraid to get experimental with, and the A3818 is among the most experimental expressions of the El Primero design language. 

One look at the dial and you immediately understand the racing heritage of the piece. The subdials use contrasting colors to highlight legibility, and the 300 markers around the perimeter of the dial are arranged in a stepped pattern resembling shark’s teeth, also to aid in legibility, but also, I think, because it’s just a dynamic and fun look, straight out of the 70s. Impressively, all 300 painted markers are individually lumed, allowing the wearer to time events precisely to the 1/10th of a second using the high frequency El Primero caliber beating away inside.

Perhaps the feature of the watch that will be most appealing to serious Zenith collectors is the reproduction of the Gay Freres designed ladder bracelet. This is highly sought after by collectors as it was an expensive add on option when purchasing a new watch at retail, and there just aren’t many in great condition out there (it’s estimated that only 1000 A3818s were made to begin with). The bracelet’s unique design features open space between links, which gives it a unique drape and a sporty but elegant look. Perhaps with an understanding that some won’t want to wear the watch on the somewhat unusual bracelet, the package from Revolution and Zenith also includes two additional straps, in beige calf and blue suede.

The most dramatic modern update to this new Cover Girl is likely the fully lumed dial, with the aforementioned 300 hash marks on the seconds scale all fully lumed, as well as the large applied hour markers and hands. Even the numerals in the integrated pulsation and tachymeter scale are lumed, making for quite a light show when it gets dark. 

With the best examples of vintage A3818s creeping toward the $20,000 range, this revival effort at $8,100 feels like a bargain. While its looks might not be mainstream, with only 100 examples being made in this limited run, this is definitely one for the enthusiasts and Zenith collectors who have long admired the brand’s 70s output.

Check out Revolution for more information on the new “Cover Girl,” and to place an order. Zenith

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.